That Boy Clint Dempsey

He scores with his left, He scores with his right, That Boy Clint Dempsey, Makes Drogba look shite!

He scores with his left! He scores with his right! That Boy Clint Dempsey makes Drogba look shite!

There is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Americans and their brands are seeping into the English Premier League with varying effect with each passing season. A company from Michigan will now be making Liverpool’s jerseys, and Manchester United fans will continue to languish under the Glazer’s reign. We are here, and we are here to stay. 

This season has been Clint Dempsey’s. Clint has 16 goals in 34 appearances for Fulham, including two hat tricks. He surpassed club great and American legend Brian McBride in the Fulham record books in 2011 as Fulham’s all-time Premier League goal scorer. Clint is critical to the smooth, fluid, yet sometimes powerful Fulham attack made up by the likes of Damien Duff, Bryan Ruiz, Moussa Dembele, Andy Johnson, Pogrebnyak—who replaced Bobby Zamora after his move to QPR, and probably most importantly, Clint Dempsey. He’s also got a pretty decent flow. Clint grew up in Nacogdoches, TX listening to Houston rap icons UGK, Lil Keke, and many others. Clint is one of us. 

Americans have been making moves over to Europe and the U.K. for a couple of decades now. Cobi Jones and Claudio Reyna played in England. Alexis Lalas tried his hand at Italian football after his impressive performance at the 1994 World Cup Finals. But, Clint has surpassed all previous American forays into the European game. He’s become the linchpin for a European club in the toughest league in the entire world.

His goal kept Fulham in the Premier League in 2007. His wonder goal against Juventus, one of the most historic and successful clubs in Europe, put lowly Fulham in a European Cup Final for the first time, and perhaps the last. Before or during his time at Fulham, no one else has been able to match his success. 

Michael Bradley, a developing but solid central midfielder, has plied his trade in Germany and currently for Chievo in Italy. Carlos Bocanegra has played in the UK and France. Landon Donovan had an awful time at Bayern Munich and had a huge impact on Everton, but his obligation to the LA Galaxy has limited his time in Europe. Onyewu’s career has been savagely undermined by injury. This isn’t to disparage the successes and accomplishments of these players, but it must be mentioned for context: No one has been as good as Clint. 

Clint Dempsey has been solid, strong, and has exhibited a certain skillfulness that most American players lack and tends to hold them back when they get to Europe. Yet, for all of Clint’s exemplary skills that separate him from his international and club teammates, he also brings an attitude and tenacity that is uniquely American. His determined gait, swagger, and dead-eyed stare has helped guide both Fulham and the United States to new heights. 

Clint Dempsey with every goal he scores and every success is opening the door wider for American players and fans to rush the UK and European markets. Sadly, his accomplishments are hardly put up for display by American mass media conglomerates and their subsidiaries. Clint isn’t the household name he should be, despite the Mrs. Baird’s billboards on the way through East Texas.

To those who say that America loves winners, and therefore, soccer can never be popular because we “suck”, I give you Clint Dempsey. 

Our East Texas hero embodies the hope for the expansion and enrichment of American footballing culture.

Dempsey also represents how an individual can achieve success with the help of a good family, support structure, talent, and resilience in the face of tragedy—the unexpected death of his teenage sister. It is a great model to have for our own personal struggles, and honestly, Clint Dempsey’s story should be the model for how America goes forward.

This our moment to harness the power of individuality in order to achieve progress for the American community. Personal achievement can be our achievement if we band together. It doesn’t get more American than that. 

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